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Cavendish available for GB Olympic track team

Mark Cavendish has made himself available for selection for Great Britain's Olympic track cycling team.

The 30-year-old from the Isle of Man took time to reflect on his Track Cycling World Championships performance, where he placed sixth in the six-discipline omnium earlier this month and won gold in the non-Olympic Madison alongside Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Cavendish has put himself forward to be considered for August's Games in Rio. Credit: PA

And Cavendish, who has twice suffered Olympic disappointment, has put himself forward to be considered for August's Games in Rio after speaking to British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton.

Sutton said: "I spoke to him earlier this week on what his intentions were and his intentions are to carry on with the project.

"Given his performance at the worlds, he's decided that he wants to be put forward for selection at the Games.

"We just wanted him to go away and see where he was at. He's decided he feels he's done enough to warrant putting himself forward and he believes he can still win."

The rider in the omnium must also be able to slot into the four-rider, four-kilometres team pursuit squad as there are three rounds of competition in close proximity.

The team event takes priority over the omnium, which can be something of a lottery, and Cavendish must be able to compete at gold medal-winning, world record-breaking pace.

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Pregnant women advised not to travel to Rio Olympics

Pregnant women have been given additional health warnings ahead of the Olympic games Credit: Katie Collins/PA Wire

Pregnant women have been advised not to travel to this year's Olympics in Rio as concerns about the mosquito-borne Zika virus continue to grow.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially recommended that pregnant women avoid attending the games due to the fact the infection in a pregnant woman "is linked to a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and miscarriage".

Professional boxers set to compete at Olympics

Top professional boxers will become eligible to compete in this summer's Rio Olympics under radical new proposals being pushed through by the sport's world governing body, AIBA.

Anthony Joshua celebrates with his Gold medal in 2012. Credit: PA

Its president, Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, has indicated that the last remaining barriers preventing full-time professionals competing in the Games are set to be abolished within a matter of months.

In an interview with Press Association Sport, Wu said: "We want the best boxers to come to the Olympic Games. It is AIBA's 70th birthday, and we want something to change - not after four years, but now.

"It is an IOC policy to have the best athletes in the Games, and of the international federations, AIBA is probably the only one without professional athletes in the Olympics.

"We already have our own professionals, APB and WSB boxers, in the Games - [and] we will go further."

Pressed on whether the change could realistically be made in time to affect eligibility for the Rio Olympics this summer, Wu replied: "According to our statutes it is absolutely possible."

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Four cities submit files to host 2024 Olympics

Four prospective host cities for the 2024 Olympics have met the deadline to submit their initial candidature files to the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday in Lausannne.

Four cities have submitted a bid. Credit: PA

Los Angeles, Rome, Budapest and Paris are all in the running to stage the Games, with the final decision due at the IOC Session in Lima in September next year.

The first part of the candidature files submitted on Wednesday concerned the respective cities' "Vision, Concept and Strategy" for hosting the Games, with the next stage due on October 7.

IOC president Thomas Bach said: ""Los Angeles, Rome, Budapest and Paris are all submitting projects fully in line with Olympic Agenda 2020.

"It is impressive to see how they have incorporated the Olympic project into the long-term development plans of their city, region and country. Coming from different starting points, for all four there is a clear focus on sustainable development, legacy and in particular how the facilities are going to be used after the Olympic Games.

"We are delighted to have four extremely strong candidatures and look forward to a fascinating competition."

European chief 'cannot see' Russia competing in Rio

European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen does not expect Russia to return to international competition in time to take part in next year's Rio Olympics.

Russia's athletics federation has been banned by the IAAF following allegations of widespread doping, and must meet a series of conditions before being readmitted.

An IAAF inspection team is due to visit Russia in January. Credit: PA

However, Hansen does not believe there is enough time for Russia to complete the process before the Olympic Games begin in August.

"For the moment they have to fulfil the conditions, but I cannot really see them competing in Rio," Hansen said in Athletics Weekly magazine.

"They must have a cultural change. They must get rid of all those people from before.

"We know some good people in Russian athletics and I'm sure they will be elected. We hope that some new people will come in who really understand that this must be changed."

An IAAF inspection team is due to visit Russia in January, and could then report back to the IAAF Council at its next meeting on March 27.

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